Whether you’re looking for a realistic hunting simulator or a deep-dive into a fantastical world of monsters and cryptids, chances are that there’s a hunting game out there for you. These games offer a vast range of terrain to explore and wide variety of creatures to shoot, whether that’s with a rifle, a bow, or even a camera!
This week, we’re ranking the best hunting games for PC and consoles. You may just forget you’re not actually experiencing the thrill of the hunt in the great outdoors.
Let’s get started!
15 Best Hunting Games, ranked worst to best
Pack up your gear and head out at first light. The fifteen best hunting games are coming up next.
Big Buck Hunter Arcade
- Gameplay gets a little repetitive
- Great/seamless port to PC
- Weapon variety could be better
- Dated game doesn’t translate great to new consoles
An arcade-style hunting game, Big Buck Hunter is up first in our ranking. There are thirty levels to play in the game, each full of a number of dangerous and highly-prized animals and small critters like squirrels and bats. It’s as if you really are out there in the woods. Big Buck Tour Guide Girls help you get started. We also like two-player mode for when friends are over. Players earn badges as their skills improve and a leaderboard helps track your progress.
Big Buck Hunter is just like the game you might remember from the arcade (without that cool gun, of course). It’s otherwise loads of fun. It does load a little slowly, though. Feedback also says there could also be better female representation.
Depth Hunter 2: Deep Dive
- Includes “Ocean Mysteries,” “Scuba Kids – Hidden Treasures,” and “Treasure Hunter”
- Relaxing and calming to play
- Bit too much like a mobile game for players
- Only for PC
Not all hunting takes place in the woods, of course. If you’ve always wanted to try spearfishing or any number of other traditional underwater hunting techniques, try Deep Hunter 2. It’s also possible to hunt for more than your lunch. You can uncover sunken treasure and even snap a few photos while you’re down there.
With every catch, you gather money with which to buy better equipment. If you’d rather leave nature as you found it, there’s the choice to just take some pictures, instead. Overall, gameplay is casual, with a good number of subtropical waters to explore.
Fans call Deep Hunter 2 “a little gem.” Even though the underwater environments are well rendered, some do find gameplay a bit too simple to hold their attention.
Hunting Unlimited 2010
- Compound bows available
- Easy-to-use mission editor
- This older game has been surpassed, some say
- Only for PC
Turning now to the thirteenth spot in our list, Hunting Unlimited 2010 is a trophy buck-hunting game now spanning three locations: North America, Canada, and the Bavarian Forest. There’s free hunting mode to help you get started quickly, or challenge mode for more experienced players. And it’s not just trophy bucks that you’re after. Other animals to track and take down include lions, bears, and jaguars. You get a broad assortment of weapons to try, and can even practice your shot in the target range.
Another nice feature from Hunting Unlimited 2010 are the binoculars, hunting scents, and other gear. All combined, these things help create something close to the real experience. With more than 110 missions, there’s always a challenge. We like how realistic the shooting is rendered, as well as the heavily customizable maps and weather.
Hunting Simulator 2
- Focuses more on stalking than ambushing
- Only three scope options
- Hunting blinds worth it to find
- Available on newest consoles
With more than thirty animal species and 160 official weapons, Hunting Simulator 2 is up next in our list. Set in the deserts of Texas, the forests of Colorado, or in points throughout the European wilderness, this game offers Browning, Winchester, and Bushnell rifles. There’s also a good assortment of hunting clothes to outfit yourself with before you set out. Each open world spans roughly six miles, so there’s a good amount of terrain to traverse. The behavior of each animal species is also realistic.
In Hunting Simulator 2, you won’t be out there alone — you’ll have a faithful canine companion. Breed options include German Shepherd and Beagle, among others. The guns look amazing, with great lighting and detail. Some animal designs could be improved, and the gun sound does leave something to be desired.
Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Reborn
- Truly hair-raising
- Interactive dinosaur trophy room
- Great sound quality
- PC only
Hunting an actual dinosaur is the concept behind the next hunting game we reviewed. A sequel to the classic video game, Carnivores, this game offers well-rendered, three-dimensional ecosystems full of dinosaur trails to track and follow. Weapons of choice range from high-caliber rifles to a crossbow. There’s even a tranquilizer gun for gentler gameplay. Dinosaurs you’re set to encounter include usual suspects like the T. Rex, but also gentle herbivores. Maps and radar help you zero-in on your target.
Overall, Dinosaur Hunter Reborn is a fitting tribute to classic Carnivores games, with improved graphics and gameplay mechanics. It’s thrilling when dinos fight back, and the bullet physics are realistic. Some do wish there was a bigger selection of dinosaurs, though. It’s otherwise an easy game for beginners to pick up, or for anyone with more than a passing interest in paleontology.
- Windows 10 recommended OS
- Some glitches reported
- Indie studio product
- Only on PC
With a twist on the hunting game formula, Animallica is less about tracking and killing your prey and more about finding the few remaining species post-apocalypse. The goal is to preserve what’s left of the Earth’s once-abundant biodiversity. At the last conservation center still standing, look out for human raiders or mutated animals. Otherwise, players can build settlements, explore in hot air balloons, or simply hunt on horseback. It’s up to you to craft and build your own weapons and other types of survival gear.
Overall, the game Animallica offers a lot to do and a lot to explore as the animals are captured and rehabilitated in the conservation center. It’s at this point that gameplay ebbs somewhat, based on feedback. But otherwise, the game has a lot of other content to explore, rewarding you the longer you play. Saving rather than killing animals is a nice alternative for many players.
- Price: Free (in-app purchases)
- Requires iOS 9.0 or later
- Infrequent/mild mature/suggestive themes
- English language only
The ninth spot in our list of best hunting games goes to Shark Hunting. The game is simple, with only two game modes to choose from — hunting and survival. In hunting mode, the players’ objective is to nab as many sharks as possible before your three lives run out. One missed shot equals one life spent, so shoot carefully. There’s also survival mode, when the tables get turned and the sharks start to fight back. Offering great 3D graphics and animation, this game update also has UI and other performance improvements.
If a shark hunting game is what you’re after, this is your best option, according to feedback. It’s easy to play, but remains challenging, with superb graphic design. Although free, the ads do become a bit intrusive, we learned. And it’s rated for ages 12+, with some mature themes. Overall simple but well-designed, this game belongs among any ranking of hunting simulators.
- New Bigfoot skins available
- Predators not limited to Bigfoot
- Frequent violence or gore, general mature content
- Only on PC
When most people think of a hunting game, chances are they think of big bucks, elk, or even bears. But as we’ve already covered, hunting games can also mean dinosaurs or, as is the case with the next game we reviewed, an actual Bigfoot. In this game, players have two modes to choose from: hunt Bigfoot himself, or be Bigfoot with NPC hunters close on your heels. Teamplay is also available, and so are a good selection of weapons and other kinds of equipment. Other gear and supplies help accomplish the mission.
A 64-bit processor is required, and at least Windows 10 OS is recommended to play the game, although Windows 11 is ideal. Overall, this is a great game and it comes highly recommended. We like the sound design and general atmosphere. Add some more cryptids like chupacabra, and we’ll be all in.
Monster Hunter Rise
- Much better selection of weapons and armor
- Bit too “arcadey” for some
- Hunting fast and intense
A more broad array of cryptids is available in the next game in our list, which is inspired by Japanese folklore. In this recent version of an absolute classic, there are fourteen different weapons to choose from for both melee and close-range fighting. Those include longswords, lances, and a machine gun-like bowgun. There’s also 4K resolution, HDR, with multiplayer mode available, new armor, new weapons, and new equipment.
Monster Hunter Rise is a great place to start if you’re just getting into the franchise. Switch Skills are the main defining feature of gameplay in Rise, allowing for more customizable Silkbind attacks alongside your regular moves. Taking pets along with you is now much less restrictive than it once was, which we like. The Wirebug mechanic gives previously slow weapons better mobility. Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak comes to Nintendo Switch and PC on June 30, 2022.
- F2P? That’s debatable
- Lots of room to explore
- Realistic hunting experience
- Only on PC
Leaving behind bigfoot, dinos, and monsters, if you’re looking for a classic hunting experience — as if you’re actually stalking your kill in the wild — then the sixth game in our list, theHunter Classic is a great pick for you. Throughout twelve virtual nature reserves, there are forty-five species both large and small to hunt. There are also a hundred weapons to arm yourself with, including rifles and bows, among many others. The game is beautifully rendered, with weather effects ranging from frigid cold to warm and swampy. Of course, your trusted hunting dog and companion will be by your side.
This hunting game can be played alone or with friends in groups up to seven. There are microtransactions making the game pay to win, however. This kept us from putting the game any higher up in our list. But for an authentic hunting experience, with detailed graphics and realistic animal behavior, theHunter Classic belongs on any ranking of hunting games.
- Price: Free (in-app purchases)
- Ages 12+
- Frequent/intense cartoon or fantasy violence
- Starts slow but picks up
Big Hunter cracks the top five in our list of best hunting games. Available on iOS, the setting is primeval, as a bushman hunts ancient prehistoric animals to feed fellow villagers. The only weapons to choose from are a spear, ax, or boomerang. The animals, such as mammoths and saber-toothed tigers are gigantic, making them especially challenging to bring down. Otherwise, the game is easy to control and addictive to play, with simple but well-done game design, including the audio.
In total, there are 100 levels to play of increasing difficulty, so there’s always a challenge. Otherwise free, there’s a tasteful number of ads in the game, we found out. Some do say there could be a better variety of animals, though. Also the shooting alignment gets a bit sensitive when preparing to launch your weapon, which makes finding and maintaining your aim extra difficult.
theHunter: Call Of The Wild
- Team play available
- Some bugs reported
- Binoculars help judge shot placement
Fourth in our rundown of the best hunting games is another installment in the theHunter franchise, Call of the Wild. Available in several bundle configurations for different prices, Call of the Wild offers all the wilderness action that fans of theHunter games have come to expect. There are realistic animal species and an overall sound and visual design that helps you feel like you really are in the forest. Similar to actual hunting, each environment and each unique species must be carefully studied.
Playing this animal hunting simulator is really like being out in the real world, with lures and callers adding to the overall effect. Small animals included in the game include duck and coyote, with larger prey like wildebeest, moose, and even bear also included. The challenge of matching the correct gun and ammo to the specific prey in question is an especially satisfying part of the game.
- Mature content
- Instructional content on Twitch
- Frequent violence or gore
Third place in our ranking goes to Hunt: Showdown. The year is 1895, and monsters have taken over the Louisiana bayou. Mixing elements of a hunting game with a first-person shooter, Hunt: Showdown has you explore the map, track and kill monsters, and collect bounty. The match-based PVP or PVE gameplay keeps things interesting. You level up, earn and collect period-specific weapons, and unlock other types of gear, which all helps you succeed on your mission.
In Hunt: Showdown, you’ll truly feel the power and precision of the weapon, based on feedback. It’s important to slow down at first and really tune in to your surroundings to be successful. It takes time to master mechanics, but the game overall is well made.
Monster Hunter: World
- Bundle versions available
- Hunt alone or in co-op
- Some paywall content
Monster Hunter: World from the Monster Hunter series, earned second spot in our list. The game blends elements of a hunting game with a fantasy realm called the New World. The job, rid the land of the elder dragon, tracking and exploring with your team of companions through a number of well-rendered locations. Each spot, full of gear to uncover, with additional forms of fantasy tracking devices like “scoutflies,” or a climbing and grappling tool called a “slinger.” Overall, the game is extremely fun and a good challenge.
Feedback calls camera and combat mechanics awkward and first, but give it some time and you’ll get used to it. Each weapon class is unique and the monsters feel like real living creatures. It’s not about gaining proficiency in any one weapon, we found out. Instead, it’s all in the gear, with skills and armor shared across weapons. Players can even change which weapon type they, as long as they possess the materials to craft it.
Dino Hunter: Deadly Shores
- Price: Free (in-app purchases)
- Ages 17+
- Frequent/intense realistic violence
- Premium weapons, for a price
Taking the top spot in our list is Dino Hunter: Deadly Shores. Set in a number of exotic locations, such as a coastline full of shipwrecks, a remote jungle, or a dinosaur boneyard, Dino Hunter lets you take on big baddies from prehistory with weapons like a shuriken crossbow or even a rocket launcher. To successfully play takes a lot more than just firepower, though. It also takes strategy, with additional weapons like rifles and shotguns picked up as rewards. Best of all, there’s a full slate of familiar dinos to encounter such as the T. Rex and stegosaurus.
Fans call the game awesome, and some even say it’s the best game in the app store. The game is for mature audiences and the hunting scenes can get graphic, it’s important to note. It’s also ad supported. Nevertheless, feedback calls Dino Hunter: Deadly Shore the best hunting game available. That gave us no pause when putting it first on our list.
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That’s it for our list of the best hunting games for PC and consoles — thanks for reading! If you have any thoughts or recommendations of your own, let us know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more game roundups like this.